David Nicholas Williams
I turn ideas into products

Negative Feedback is Positive

An idea I come across regularly when talking to people about building products is the hardest thing about shipping is exposing yourself to negative feedback. Criticism. Looking like a fool.

Don't worry about that, it's a great problem to have. The expected outcome is no feedback as nobody cares.

Getting anyone to care enough to give you any feedback at all is a sign you are onto something. It's a step change up from the expected outcome - it's wonderful.

Even if you ignore the feedback itself, the signal alone is something to celebrate. But it gets better - the feedback itself is actually something you can use to improve your product. It's gold!

Someone has given you the gift of their attention and their time to tell you implicitly that they care and explicitly what to do to get them to care more. I'm not merely saying that negative feedback isn't scary, I'm saying you should actively seek it out. You should want to get it.

Get ideas out there as soon as they're in any way ready to be evaluated. They don't even have to be fully formed, much less fully implemented, less still polished.

The biggest reason a product idea will fail is because nobody cares, so you want to test this as early as possible. The second biggest reason is because the idea is good in principle, but not realised in the best way - this is where negative feedback saves the day. It helps you fix the idea, and its implementation. You can't do this without negative feedback.

Negative feedback is positive, go get some!